Friday, April 27, 2007

Die Niedersachsen, Germany

Day 1:
I love racing in Germany!!! Oh man it's good to be here. Nice roads, good food (except there seems to be a serious lack of junk food of any sort here) warm sunshine and some mighty nice views as well. To top it off today was pancake flat and generally pretty easy for most of the 160k day. Good stuff I tells ya. Even driving to the race was nice. Germany is just so much more of a modern or maybe western style country that the likeness to home is a welcome treat. Today we were riding through the countryside where the flowers are in bloom, the fields are green and the beer gardens are full. Man it was a hot one today as well and each beer garden we passed I was just salivating. I'm going to have to sneak out one of these nights and hit-up one of these gardens, yah that'll make me happy. Not that I wasn't happy today. A break of four riders went up the road, which we missed, oops. Well as soon as they got a gap established, all the Italians start hollering Pisse, the group goes curb to curb and we all hit the brakes. It was wonderful! Now it was warm sunshine, easy flat roads (with not a crosswind in sight thankyou very much) and the ProTour team Milram setting tempo on the front. Who could ask for more, we even had some new tasty treats wrapped in foil thanks to the soigners. Ahh yes I can definitly say that was the easiest day of racing I've ever done in Europe and I loved every moment of it. Since it was so mice and easy for just about everyone, once Milram brought the break back with about 40k to go, well the gas started comming on. Well since it had been an easy day for me, I actually had the strength to get to the front and help our sprinters. Yup I'd definitely have to say that was a scarry endeavour. At times it was safe and peaceful enough, the MIlram boys were more than happy to let me drive the bunch for a hot second, but the few times we'd get swarmed and everyone starts crowding for room, and then pushing and squeezing into holes that don't exist, ooh man scary. We'll we're doing like 50+ k/hr all the while to so that's the thing of it, we're all going so fast that if something goes wrong, ugh it's gonna be ugly. I was able to help Oleg out until about 3k to go, then I nearly got pushed into the curb and that's just about when my legs gave out and I raised the white flag. But it was definitely a nice change of pace to be at the front in the Finale.

Ok I'm tired, definitely don't feel as good as I felt yesterday. Actually most of the day I felt like I wasn't getting any draft, yup it was a bit grim. But it was a buch kick, easy day right, no problem just a field sprint. Yeah right, not a single team really had it together at the Finale today. Milram had it best but even in the last 4k, they only had 4 guys left. Sheesh I got ridden out on one of the climbs BEFORE we really started racing. Well before the gas really ame on that is at about 25k to go. We were not to miss the break today and it was everything I could do just to try and follow moves this morning. Thankfully it only took a half hour of attacks, instead of the usual hour, before the break was established. We had Daren in the move so we were happy. I was more than happy cuz I was really begining to suffer. Some scenario though, break goes, Italians yell 'Pisse' and we hit the breaks. Then two poor bastards from Milram hit the front about 5 minuts later and bgin their long slog of riding that breakaway back over the next 150k or so. Two guys, towing the entire field around all day, riding the break back, hmm how do they do it? It was a bit windy today and as I mentioned, I felt like I just couldn't get out of the wind all day. Gonna have to work on that tomorrow.

Day3: Hmm ok well that was a terrible day. Made a huge rookie move and screwed half my team, which then got me cused out someth'n fierce by one of said teammates (it was an amazing display of profanity strung together with such eloquence I wish I had it recorded) then didn't have to mental will to kill myself in the final 10K... hmm yah that was a dark day.

Day 4:
OK spirits are much higher today. What a beutiful country this is. The rolling hills with the flowers in bloom and the picture perfect villages, man I wish I had a camera mid race.
OK so funny story: Choco Brooks is attacking the bunch. He has Petachi (cuurently the worlds fastest sprinter) and one of Petachi's cronie teammates on his wheel. The 140lb wafe rides both Petachi and his teammate off his wheel!!! Then has the gaul to look back and literally flex his arms like a body builder to thumb it in their faces. Man we all almost fell off our bikes laughing! Next best was Hilton calling one of the Astana guys Borat and then telling him to shut up. Man everyone who heard that one was laughing!
GREAT NEWS! I'm comming home. There was a chance I could have been here for another two weeks, surely snuffing out any sparkle I had in my eye. But I'm comming home Thursday May 3rd!!!
Last day tomorrow, I gonna destroy myself tomorrow!
Oh geez what a death march of a day that was...

1 comment:

lyle Nisenholz said...

Hey Bernard
My name is Lyle
A long time ago in a place called the Bay Area we used to ride bikes together.
Anyway, I live in Japan now and you are shuttling between Europe and America riding your brains out.
Just to let you know people are reading and it's good stuff, funny. I like your writing and the photos. Please keep writing when you get back to the USA.